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America 5, Us 4, Afghanistan 4, Rahm Emanuel 3, Ronald Reagan 2, Harry Reid 2, Chicago 2, Axelrod 2, Susan Collins 2, Bob Woodward 2, John Behner 2, Gingrich 2, Fbi 2, John Bolton 2, George Soros 1, Insidewashington 1, John 1, Petraeus 1, Stephanopoulos 1, Clinton Haveno 1,
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  WETA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table discussions  
   feature nationally recognized journalists. (CC)  

    September 25, 2010
    6:00 - 6:30pm EDT  

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biodegradable plastic? can it be killed for our cars? or clothing? or medicine that fights cancer? with eric tree-cell technology we think it can. weyerhauser, growing ideas. ♪ captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> we are here today to put forth a new governing agenda by listening to the american people that offers a new way toward them of this week, house republicans unveiled their pledge to america. >> they want the next two years to look like the eight years before i took office. >> senate democrats dare republicans to say no to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell our republicans say no. >> now was not the time to play politics. >> top security officials warn about homegrown terrorists. >> caution would dictate that it is not an aberration.
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>> and obama quote in bob woodward's new book fires up his critics. >> i think it is the most cold- blooded remark an american president, i can think about. >> what is ahead for the president's inner circle? >> one way out -- one day i would like to run for mayor of chicago. ♪ >> this week brought back memories of the day newt gingrich gave us his contract for america. today, he is occupied with dreams of being president of less than six weeks to go before the midterm election, house republicans revealed a new pledge to america which proposes to extend the bush tax cuts and shutting down the health care law. it involves pulling back on
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stimulus money and reducing the size of the federal government. what is new on this? >> nothing, it is a portable document which means it is dishonest. they say they will reduce deficits by cutting taxes. it just won't happen. most voters know it is dishonest and it is a document they don't believe in. >> i watched this unveiling as i watched the democrats and it just seems like noise at this point, meaningless noise. in this case it was orchestrated in order to have no ties and everyone sitting around trying to be something there were not and that is exactly what it looked like them up. as far as the november elections, this will not be a positive. it gets them off the party of being no and put something out there. is being picked apart by the
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democrats. if it doesn't work out the way it should, they will not do much about the deficit target on the other hand, i think it is important to look at this document that way, it delivers -- it tries to deliver on the promise to reduce the size of government because that is what the issue is between the two parties. no doubt about it, if republicans get both houses of congress, they will go after discretionary spending in the budget and go after social programs. it is just the opposite with the democrats. it is not a game changes. it gives them some talking points on both sides that anything new in that pledge? >> nothing new, as a tactical issue i would not have done it. when the other side has taken america ideologically it left, it gives the other side a target to shoot at. i think it is not a dishonest document.
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the aberration of obamacare that would save the budget by $3 trillion over a decade, i think that is where the money that has been wasted and spent by the administration. torte reform and other things, i figure would make a difference. all the other things as normal what you would expect from a republican administration about lowering taxes and less regulation. overall, with the good will make a difference. >> let's talk about repealing health care. parts of the law actually kicked in thursday. insurance companies can no longer drop you if you get sick. >> you will not go bankrupt. you will not lose your house. if you end up having an accident and you can get quality care them of the american people do not want this bill. they have not wanted this. you four to down their throats, mr. president, six months ago with this so-called parliamentary procedure called
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reconciliation them that that is republican congressman of georgia. if the republicans when the house, can they pull health care back? >> they will not repeal it on less they get a a huge majority in both houses. if they were to get a piece of legislation through the congress, president obama would veto it. plus, there are things in the bill that people do like. there are things that the president mentioned. >> the truth is, when you talk to republicans about this, they want to keep the things that people like. unfortunately, the things people like like no discrimination based on previous history and not dropping people when they get sick, they cost money to the insurance companies and that will pay for that by having a larger bunch of help the people who pay and because of the mandate. if you don't have the mandate, you cannot pay for this. >> if you have a child who is a
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bleeder, the insurance companies must cover this child. it will cost them money and i assume it will cost the client money, to that obama wisely front loaded this bill. >> there are big cost problems. it is a bad bill because of the smart politics -- they will not get 2/3 to rebuild. -- repeal. medea republican president with a republican congress in future years will change things. on to you get that combination, nothing will change. >> this is john behner's baby? i did not hear eric kanter speak. >> behner is not trying to force the republicans to sign on to this bill. gingrich got all the republicans to sign onto this. if you don't like this, they can run from it and some are running from >> what about
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conservatives out in the country? they are attacking this just like democrats. >> that is democracy, isn't it? >> john behner's objective has been achieved whether it is a wise move for not is another matter. >> in the end, with the underlying forces in the economy and politics, so strongly against republican, this will have a marginal effect. it gives democrats targets individual districts. if you are a pro-choice district and you are a moderate republican, you could look at the provision about the hite amendment, meaning no federal government funds even indirectly would go to abortion and you would have an issue. in the end, the economy and the
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failure of this administration is so obvious it will have its own affect regardless. >> i don't think the public is paying any attention to this stuff. i really don't. i think it is just noise. >> we know it, though. that is the problem. this is like an inside thing that nobody cares about them i care. >> "don't ask, don't tell" survives a senate vote. >> i think it's the right thing to do. i think it is only fair. >> susan collins on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." she was for it until houri attached some other goodies to the defense authorization >> now is not the time t play
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politics. sent a because an election is looming in a few weeks. >> i can't think of a better reason. >> i think this was pre- ordained bringing it up was political and susan collins' vote against it was political and she has to live in her party. the same is true on the disclosure bill for finances. >> there was a voice like mr. brent station -- misrepresentation on the she did not change her mind on don't ask, don't tell. he locked into three ideas at once, don't ask, don't tell, 2 million illegal agreements, and the defense authorization. the republican objection was that if you give us a vote up and down separately -- richard lugar is a sponsor of the dream act.
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he voted against this because even though he supports the dream act he said he has 15 other objections of other elements and he will not accept it shoved down his throat. that is why the republicans opposed to this. >> harry reid added goodies. >> this is a legitimate objection. unfortunately, it is a legitimate objection with every bill. >> harry reid should not have left it open for amendments. i don't understand the idea. he was not serious about having it attached. it should have been debated on its own merits. they should have voted up or down. >> this is a vote to debate it.
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>> they will get rid of don't ask, don't tell, it's a matter of time. clinton. george stephanopoulos asked the former president what advice he had for the current president in dealing with angry voters. >> i would like to see him say here is what i think this election is about. the only thing that matters is what we do now very give us a few more years. if we don't do better, you can vote against us and i will be on the ballot. but against us all if it is not done. >> is that good advice? >> people love ex-presidents and ex-generals. it is also clear and simple. would president clinton haveno. he would never do something so stark. >> it is not a bad calculation. two years from now, it will be better. we are coming out of this
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recession. things will be better a year- and-a-half from now. you will be able to say that. you are right, bill clinton would not have said this either. it will be better. >> he has the triangulation. >> he is quite a politician. >> defined better. better? >> obama has to break through the political deadlock. the public does not care whether the government is bigger and smaller. they care whether nobody takes responsibility for everything. they have a sense that everybody is irresponsible. a writer said if a political leader can find a way to speak a different language that gets away from the deadlock and tired debate every week and get at the deeper notion of
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responsibility, i think that is the way to re-election but also a way of getting the country a better direction. >> what about bill clinton's advice? >> you have to be careful. >> you have to be careful how you talk about our jobs. on clinton, i have a quote from deniro, you are good, you are very, very good. he is such a gifted politician. i wonder if we could amend the 22nd amendment and allow him to run again. he is so entertaining. it will all depend on the economy. there is no indication we will have a rapid recovery. if you look at ronald reagan, the time tracking of this is almost equivalent to ronald reagan 81-84. he had a rapid snap out of that recession, 7% growth, we have 1.3%. you will not get reelected on 1.3%.
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>> several years ago, hillary clinton talked about a vast right-wing conspiracy david axelrod wrote on thursday about a stealth campaign against the president being waged by the corporate big money boys. he blames the supreme court ruling that gives american corporations a green light to pour money into elections by funneling it through a not-for- profit organizations and trade groups. is that right? >> there is evidence of it. there is foreign money there. i think it will have some impact. it is hard to tell how much impact money has on politics. >> money has a lot of impact. you can have all the money in the world. if the other guy has enough money to get the message out, then it is at least a fair fight. i think there was $2.5 million into advertisements this week for six or seven senate races.
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that would have a big impact. >> that is lunch money. john mccain spent $20 million for re-election in his own district. >> but if you do it in one week. that is a lot of money. >> the idea that republicans are the ones pumping money into this and george soros and hollywood and democrats aren't, give me a break. >> i want to know who they are. i want to know that they disclose who they are and you cannot find out who is putting money in, -- you see an advertisement and you think it is against the health care bill and you don't know it is sponsored by the insurance industry. you see an advertisement that is for don't ask, don't tell, you don't know the corporation paid for. >> money is the mother's milk of politics. >> that is true. let yet not your heart be trouble. there is money and everything. money will always be there.
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i gave on this argument a long time ago. just accept it. just to disclose it. >> that is the problem. >> in the district of columbia, the two mayoral candidates spent almost $9 million between the two of them. that is a local election. the one with the most money lost. >> i want to know where it is coming from. i think that is healthy. for years, there was agreement on that at least ostensibly and now, the republicans are blocking this. >> are they just looking for an excuse to talk about the death? >> the correct answer is b. puffs' let's go on to something else. he is winding in advance and looking for an excuse. these guys have had a year-and- a-half andpeople are not happy with results. $1 trillion of stimulus has disappeared and there is nothing to show.
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>> 2 million jobs to show for it. >> saved, how you measure a safe job? -- how do you measure a save the job? >> a couple of million jobs were saved them of the net loss of jobs is staggering under this administration. >> yes, -- >> government jobs have gone up. the private sector has suffered. >> you know what i am talking about. you are a straight shooter. >> if you are david axelrod, what do you say to the president? >> i am leaving. [laughter] i am leaving in the spring. that is what you say. >> i think they are exhausted and down and that don't know what to do. i don't think they are having have become more optimistic conversations in the oval office. >> do you have any good ideas? >> they said they would push an
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ideological agenda instead of addressing the american economy and that is the major complaint against them. that is why they will get slaughtered them instead of just bluffing through this which is what they seem to be doing >> they are thinking of a new approach. >> the terror threat at home. based on cases from the last year -- homegrown the tariff threat is more harder to detect. they are more operationally capable than what we had previously seen. >> that would get your attention. that is robert mueller the fbi director, maybe a inspired by the global jihadist movement. that might be connected to the internet without turning from overseas. this is like the timothy mcvey syndrome in oklahoma city. >> people were saying that we don't have the same problem they had in the london bombings
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. in fact, we do have that problem. some of us had been suggesting that. people are asking the fbi director at the 9/11 whether we have the kind of issue in this country and he said no at the time. we have had indications that we do have a home ground threat here. this ties back into the question of fighting the war overseas. we don't have an enemy that will ever come to a conference table and sign a document. we will see this problem for years to come of this country . >> we are a country of 3 million people. -- 300 million peoplewe have seen this in other areas. we had black panthers blowing things up at one point. you cannot expect especially
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with young people and i assume some recruitment effort by the allies overseas, their allies ever sees, that we will not see some of this. it is scary but it would be miraculous if we did not have this. >> if you are a national security officials, you will always to a worst-case scenario. you have -- the context is it your the director of all my security, you will not say not to worry. you will always say that the threat is coming. >> what about times square? there was evidence of that. >> there was a time when we were not talking about it. you cannot deny the problem when it is right there in front of you. >> i still fight to the major --
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i still -- i still think the major threat, the big one, would come from the outside. you do get the lone wolf here and there but you don't see the vast networks you get in europe in the middle east. if we did, you might get a huge event here. i see it coming from the outside the way 9/11 happens. it might involve a weapon of mass destruction. >> bob woodward has a new book and describes the conflict in the obama team over afghanistan. the president tells him, "we can absorb a terrorist attack and we will do everything to prevent it but even 9/11 we have soared and we are stronger." how can any american president say that, says john bolton, and does not care about americans dying. >> president bush said that. he said we were stronger for 9/11. it's exactly what he said>> it is true.
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i don't know what john bolton is talking about. it is true that we can absorb this. we cannot absorb a nuclear bomb then our society changes in an atom bomb goes off. up to a significant wmd, we can absorb it. >> i think the shocking quote in the book or the exurbs about the way obama talked about afghanistan. he said he wanted an exit strategy. he does not want to lose the democratic strategy. they ran in two consecutive democratic strategists on the market that afghanistan was the central war. if elected the president and now he says in order to maintain the president in his own party, he needs an exit strategy. if you are an afghan or american soldier or a nato ally in afghanistan and you hear a president who only want out with a measure of success, you are demoralized.
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i found that utterly shocking that a commander in chief would speak in that ambivalent way about a war he is conducting an has just escalated. >> i am not shocked. i have not read the book yet. there was a remark by general petraeus. he said he does not see winning this war. he said there would be a footprint there. for our lives and the laws of our children herdedthat is what is confronting president obama, how do we get out of the situation we are in now because we cannot maintain 30,000 troops over there. >> big change is coming up in the president's inner circle. >> one day i would like to run for mayor of the city of
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chicago. that has always been an aspiration of mind even when i was in the house of representatives. >> chief of staff rahm emanuel in an interview some time ago. it looks like he is going and larry summers is going. david axelrod will stick around until spring . >> what a sad when he was told that the mayor of ireland was jewish, he said only in america. [laughter] tthe emanuel dynasty, i like the sound of that. these jobs in the white house these days -- they were always harder because you never stop. you always have your blackberry. >> there is no getting away from the media. if you know any of these people or other people, the white house is utterly and exhausted. in the campaign before that, it
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was another two years and they were utterly exhausted. >> what about the national security team? >> there will be shakeups. i think general john's will lead -- general jones will probably lead as national security adviser. there is also opposition. after two years,there is usually a change that takes place. it concerns me is that president obama has an inner circle and he does not trust outsiders if he can open up that circle -- >> it is the same problem that george bush had. >>odonnell was talked about to replace rahm emanuel but he wants secretary gates'' job. he is waiting until he leaves prisonthe effect will be to bring that circle ever tighter.
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>> do you have a name to replace rahm emanuel? >> no. >> final word? >> i am not in the inner circle so i don't know who is in line. >>see you next week. ♪ >> for a transcript of this broadcast, log onto insidewashington.tv.
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gwen: shaking things up. at the white house, on the economy. and at the united nations. who's asking, who's telling? we'll get to the bottom of it all tonight on "washington week." >> quite frankly i'm exhausted. i'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration. and the mantle of change that i voted for. >> times are tough for everybody right now. so i understand your

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